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Israel launches airstrikes on Syrian posts

August 4, 2020

Israel's military said that it had struck observation posts, intelligence collection systems and other Syrian military targets. In turn, Syrian state media reported that its air defenses fired on "hostile targets."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C), clad in mask due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, attends a graduation ceremony for new pilots in Hatzerim air force base near the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, on June 25, 2020.
Image: Getty Images/AFP/A. Schalit

Israel launched an air strike on military targets in Syria on Monday, the Israeli military said, taking the comparatively rare step of announcing operations beyond its borders. "The targets struck include observation posts and intelligence collection systems, anti-aircraft artillery facilities, and command and control systems in the Syrian Armed Forces (SAF) bases," Israel's military said.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it deployed fighter jets, helicopters and aircraft. The IDF said that its strike was a response to an attempt by four men to lay explosives along the border fence with Syria on the Golan Heights, earlier in the day, concluding by saying: "We hold Syria responsible."

Late on Sunday, announcing the alleged border bomb plot, the IDF had said in a tweet that it had thwarted the attempt and was "ready for any scenario."

Following the airstrike, Syria's official news agency, SANA, said that the Syrian army air defenses had engaged "hostile targets" near the capital Damascus.

Little clarity on damage

Syria's state television said that Israeli helicopters had inflicted "material damage" by firing on Syrian army posts in the city of Quneitra. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based civilian group trying to monitor the conflict, also reported Israeli military strikes in that area.

In recent weeks, Israel has boosted its forces on its northern front amid heightened tensions with bordering Lebanon and Syria.

Last month, an alleged Israeli missile attack hit Syrian regime forces' positions south of Damascus, killing five people. 

The significance of the Golan Heights

am/msh (dpa, AFP)